Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

For Knicks, Howard Offer Is A No-Lose Scenario

This most recent lockout was a reminder that the NBA is a business. Front offices try to do what’s best for the team regardless of loyalty because it maximizes the profits of the owners. Players in turn frequently do what’s best for themselves individually because that will earn them the highest salary they can obtain. While some players love playing the game and some owners have a soft heart for the people they employ, those are secondary motives. Greed is the prime motivator in sports.

So while the story regarding Chris Paul making a wedding day toast to play with his buddies Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire was heart warming, I have no choice but to take that with a grain of salt. Recently Paul’s agent announced that the point guard does wish to be traded to New York, which was met with some criticism because the Knicks don’t have the best assets to acquire Paul to be their third star. And as I, among others, have outlined Paul will lose a significant amount of money should he come to the Big Apple as a free agent.

Of course New Orleans knows this, and will at the least use this in negotiations or at best force him to make good on that promise. So at that point Chris Paul may have to chose between tens of millions of dollars or come to the team of his desire. As I said earlier, money is the first motivator in sports. It’s hard to see the All Star guard making the decision to come to New York knowingly earning less than his two friends, especially considering his injury history and the limited window he has to earn a maximum contract in the NBA. Would you leave your job to join one with two of your friends at a lower paycheck? If you’ve answered yes, try to explain that to your spouse (or anyone that relies on you to bring home the bacon).

If the New Orleans front office knows this, then so do the Knicks. If the league owned Hornets decide to send their star player elsewhere and Paul chooses a boatload of money over friendship, then the Knicks are left with Plan B. Yet again. With just Amar’e and ‘Melo New York is mostly a middle tier team. Good enough for a second round in the playoffs, but without a fantastic supporting roster they aren’t as good as the league’s elites. So perhaps the Knicks shouldn’t wait to see if they can acquire Paul and find another Plan A.

The Orlando Magic will likely field offers for Dwight Howard, much like the one that the Nets reportedly sent their way of Lopez and a pair of firsts. As enticing an offer that is, I can’t help but think that if the Knicks decided to give up on one of their two stars they could have a decent chance at landing Howard. As much as a ton of cap space and two firsts can potentially get a team, there’s no allure like landing a bona fide All Star. Knick fans know this well, considering the revival this town went through when Stoudemire arrived. Looking through possible offers, there is only one other that I’ve seen mentioned that could match or top New York’s in terms of star power. Hollinger theorized that the Lakers could send Gasol and Bynum to Orlando, which would be a similar offer. (He also playfully thought a LeBron for Howard trade would be beneficial to both teams.)

The dilemma New York faces is that an offer for Howard could harm their ability to acquire Chris Paul. It’s unclear whether this move would make it more or less palatable for Paul to come to New York. But one thing that is clear is that a Howard pairing with ‘Melo or Amar’e would be an upgrade over the current roster. Either Knick would be the best player that Dwight has ever played alongside, and he’s kept the Magic in the 50+ win column for 4 seasons now. A meager supporting cast would make New York a .600 team as well, but with a few good players (*cough* Steve Nash *cough*) they would easily be among the league’s 5 or so best teams.

From that perspective it seems that the Knicks would be foolish to not make a major play for Howard. If they fail to impress the Orlando front office, they’ll be in the same situation they are now. And if their bid succeeds they’ll have one of the best teams in the NBA. What’s not to like?

81 comments on “For Knicks, Howard Offer Is A No-Lose Scenario

  1. Ben R

    I totally agree and while we’re at it we should also make that same offer for Paul. Amare or Melo for Howard or Paul is a great trade for both NY and Orlando or New Orleans. We get a better player the best center or best point guard respectively (the hardest positions to fill in the NBA by far) and they get a bonafide superstar under contract for the next couple years.

    As for those that talk about lack of loyalty, nobody complained about lack of loyalty when we pushed David Lee out the door for an upgrade in Amare or traded Gallinari and Chandler for an upgrade in Melo. Why do we have more loyalty to Amare who played 1 season for the Knicks or Melo who played less than half a season when no such loyalty could be found for Lee (5 years as a Knick) or Chandler (3 and a half years).

    This is a business and when you have an opportunity to trade a player no matter how well liked and long tenured for a clear and obvious upgrade in talent you do not hesitate. Both Paul and Howard are upgrades on Melo and Amare so making a trade should be a no brainer.

  2. Shad0wF0x

    If we have to opportunity to get Howard for either Melo or Amar’e (+ other stuff), I’d rather part with Melo. I think that the following lineup could work very well for us. This is also assuming we can get Nash somehow.

    PG: Steve Nash
    SG: Landry Fields
    SF: Wilson Chandler
    PF: Amar’e Stoudemire
    C: Dwight Howard
    6th: Grant Hill

  3. Spree8nyk8

    On a side note, one of my patients tonite is driving me absolutely batshit. Sorry had to vent.

  4. leiboadam

    I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment. If the goal is to compete for a championship, than grabbing one of the top three players in the league when you can is an opportunity you have to take. Especially one who almost completely solves your biggest weakness. You can realistically build a title contender to compete with Chicago and Miami with Howard and Anthony as your two best players. Moreover, if they gave up on the three superstar idea now, it would allow New York to begin the process of using their considerable financial advantage over other teams by actually signing players to more than 1 year deals through the mid level. In fact, to get the Magic to do it, I would offer to include Billups in exchange for Jameer Nelson and another long Orlando contract like Brandon Bass or JJ Redick. The knicks have about two years worth of mid level spending before they reach the luxury tax. Start spending now while your stars are in their prime.

    Also, and I’m sure this has been pointed out elsewhere, but Amare went to high school in Orlando Florida.

  5. ess-dog

    Yeah, no brainer. I would offer Amare, but I think it would take Melo. I think they would take Melo over any Laker. Of course, as pointed out, Amare makes more sense b/c of his Orlando roots.
    But I don’t see this happening b/c of how Amare “saved” NY basketball and Melo just had a tearful homecoming. But if you can get the best big man in the NBA, probably the 2nd best player, you have to do it 10 times out of 10. But damn, Melo would be crushed.

  6. Spree8nyk8

    ess-dog:
    Yeah, no brainer.I would offer Amare, but I think it would take Melo.I think they would take Melo over any Laker.Of course, as pointed out, Amare makes more sense b/c of his Orlando roots.
    But I don’t see this happening b/c of how Amare “saved” NY basketball and Melo just had a tearful homecoming.But if you can get the best big man in the NBA, probably the 2nd best player, you have to do it 10 times out of 10.But damn, Melo would be crushed.

    This is exactly why I think they would be more apt to take Amar’e. I think Melo could end up being a headcase there, and Amar’e would probably embrace it, it just seems to be his nature. So you have a florida guy going home and he’s a star. I mean sure they would probably want Melo, but realistically they aren’t getting any bigger name than Amar’e. And with all the Knicks went through just to get Melo I just really can’t see them turning around and offering him up like that.

    I mean either way I think it looks kinda bad and could backfire as far as when you are trying to bring in other players. I mean on one hand you are showing an ultimate dedication to winning so that would be a plus, but you are showing also you have absolutely no loyalty whatsoever.

  7. Spree8nyk8

    And let me throw this out there and please tell me what you think because I could be off here. But, in my mind doing this would also put us in great shape pg wise because you are removing NJ from the hunt for Howard which would have the effect of putting DWill in a position to where he probably feels like he isn’t going to get any decent help. That way if something else shakes out with CP3 then we can just go after DWill. Not to say we can’t go after him either way if that happens. But the way I see it is that with the way the CBA is now superstars aren’t going to extend because it costs them money now. So Howard wouldn’t be extending to come here, you’d pretty much have to get a handshake agreement that he wants to resign in the offseason which means going into the offseason only his cap hold would count meaning you could give CP3/DWill a little bit closer to max and then sign Howard to max.

    Maybe it doesn’t shake out like that, or maybe the Knicks have to get an extend in place before they would be willing to do the trade to avoid getting burned. But I think it’s easier to do if you secure Howard first. All I know is if the Knicks ended up with Howard, LBJ would be pissing his pants.

  8. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Shad0wF0x: PG: Steve Nash
    SG: Landry Fields
    SF: Wilson Chandler
    PF: Amar’e Stoudemire
    C: Dwight Howard
    6th: Grant Hill

    There’s no doubt in my mind the Knicks would have to take back Turkoglu or Arenas, and they’d probably insist on Fields and/or Douglas. So it would look something like this:

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=cqr853v

    Which would make the immediate lineup either:

    Howard
    Shawne?
    Melo
    Arenas
    Douglas/Shumpert

    or

    Howard
    Turkoglu
    Melo
    Walker
    Douglas/Shumpert

    I much prefer the second lineup, but I imagine the Magic would rather shed themselves of Agent 0. In 2013, Nash might come via the MLE, since that’s about all the Knicks could afford with Howard, Melo and Turk/Arenas on the books. There would be significant roster depth issues, but that’s true pretty much no matter what the Knicks do (Howard, Paul, etc.)

  9. Frank

    As much as I would love to see Howard here, he has shown zero interest in playing in NYC or anywhere cold, for that matter. My guess is he ends up in Dallas or LA somehow – prob LA. I think he is reading the Shaq handbook and following it line-by-line.

    And as much as it makes sense to trade Amare for Howard, there comes a time as an organization that you need to show current players and prospective FAs that the organization believes in being loyal to players that have themselves been loyal to and good to the organization. As much as David Lee was sort of dropped after many good (statistical) years, the team SUCKED with him as the “centerpiece” – hard to expect “loyalty” from your team when you haven’t brought it any kind of success. Not only that, I’m not sure any player would blame the Knicks for trying to clear capspace for Lebron.

    But now that we have 2 of the top 20+ players in the league, I think it is time to start having some amount of continuity.

    Meanwhile, Berman is reporting that the Knicks are making a big push to get Jeff Foster here. I would love to see that – exactly the type of under-the-radar but impactful move that we need. Foster would probably get 20-25 min/game here and get to play for a team that has a better chance for postseason success than the Pacers. Center rotation of Turiaf, Foster, Jerome Jordan, and even Jefferies would be good enough for me.

  10. ess-dog

    Mike Kurylo: There’s no doubt in my mind the Knicks would have to take back Turkoglu or Arenas, and they’d probably insist on Fields and/or Douglas. So it would look something like this:

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=cqr853v

    Which would make the immediate lineup either:

    Howard
    Shawne?
    Melo
    Arenas
    Douglas/Shumpert

    or

    Howard
    Turkoglu
    Melo
    Walker
    Douglas/Shumpert

    I much prefer the second lineup, but I imagine the Magic would rather shed themselves of Agent 0. In 2013, Nash might come via the MLE, since that’s about all the Knicks could afford with Howard, Melo and Turk/Arenas on the books. There would be significant roster depth issues, but that’s true pretty much no matter what the Knicks do (Howard, Paul, etc.)

    But don’t you think the Magic will waive Arenas? But clearly we’d have to take back Turk, but that still gives us enough to at least resign Landry. Maybe we could trade TD for a first rounder to give them and then… wait for it… take back Duhon as our starting pg.

    So we’d have:

    Duhon/Shump
    Fields/Walker?
    Melo/
    Turkoglu/Easy E
    Howard

    Geez, writing that out makes me wonder if it’s worth it.

  11. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Ahhh forgot about the waiver. Yes they would waive whoever the other team doesn’t take, which would be Arenas. So that makes it easier to get Turk back.

    And as much as Duhon makes me cringe, I would take that in a second. Shumpert would drop Duh out of the lineup in a week or two, even with blind-eye D’Antoni as coach.

  12. Shad0wF0x

    @12

    I completely forgot that Howard stated somewhere that he doesn’t like the cold. I remember telling a Nets fan that Howard wouldn’t come to this area for that reason.

  13. John Kenney

    Havn’t made this point yet, but given how much we insist upon using the correct logic when it comes to points, we should also be insisting on using the correct logic when it comes to salary. The fact that the Knicks can offer only a four year deal is a negative; however, comparing a four year deal’s total $ amount to a 5 year deal’s total dollar amount is ridiculous because Chris Paul will likely still be in the NBA for that 5th year earning some sort of salary. We don’t favor people who score 15 points in 30 minutes over those who score 10 in 20 (most of the time.) We shouldn’t compare 100mil over 5 years to 74 over 4 (or whatever the knicks can offer over four) without adding some x amount to represent what Paul will be able to make in that fifth year. What is the dollar amount in the 5th year if the knicks were to extend his max contract? I don’t know, but that seems to be incredibly relevant information.

  14. Jafa

    Couldn’t agree more John Kenney. That argument about what Paul or any FA would be leaving on the table may be valid for someone in the last legs of their career where they may not be offered anything more than the league minimum after the contract expires. People used that argument a lot about Lebron, and I kept thinking “The guy wont even be 30 when his current deal expires”. How much money did Kobe get again after turning 30?

  15. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    While I certainly think that is an important point, John, do note that Paul, at least, does have the whole injury history thing working against him, so that guaranteed fifth year likely has more value to him now than a similar player of the same age.

  16. citizen

    Logistical question: do either Amare or Melo have a no-trade clause? Is such a thing even permissible under the new CBA?

  17. stratomatic

    1. Amare’s contract is not insured. That was one of the reasons NY was able to get him. A lot of teams that would otherwise be interested won’t be willing to take a risk on him. So the probability of a trade is not very high.

    2. I don’t think the Knicks are going to make any major moves this year. They don’t have the assets to pull anything major off (like Paul or Howard). As much as I hate to throw cold water on the season before it starts, I think this is going to be another rebuilding year. This is going to be the year the Knicks add pieces to fill out the bench, develop Shumpert, Fields and Douglas etc… and come together as a team. It’s first round or second round and out. This team is not a serious contender.

    3. Next season is going to be the year to get serious. Billups and Turiaf will be off the books. The Knicks will either upgrade PG (maybe Nash for a year or two for one final run) or resign Billups for much less and use the remaining space to get a quality big. That’s when they’ll become a more serious threat. They’ll have a full team and some of the young players will be more battle tested and seasoned in the playoffs.

    It’s nice to think about CP3 and Howard, but there’s no way we are getting either unless CP3 is willing to take WAY less money and call NO’s bluff. NO can get WAY more for him than the Knicks could possibly offer and they also have no interest in an expiring contract like Billups. They want young studs with upside and draft picks to rebuild. Space is of no use to them because they can’t attract free agents.

  18. Z

    Frank:
    As much as I would love to see Howard here, he has shown zero interest in playing in NYC or anywhere cold, for that matter. My guess is he ends up in Dallas…

    I haven’t spent much time in Dallas, but when I’ve been there during basketball months, it’s been cold as hell. Just wanted to put that out there, in case Dwight Howard is reading this and thought Dallas was somehow in a sub-tropical region of north Texas…

  19. Thomas B.

    While I would love to see CP3 here, (my wife asked “Is Chris Paul good?” I said: “Good? My dear, Chris Paul came to Earth from the planet Basketball. He is other worldly good.”) I just can’t really imagine someone taking less money because I’ve rarely seen a top tier player take less money. They seem to find a way to get it all. Remember last year when we were all wondering if Carmelo-who really wanted to be in NYC by the way–would take a slight pay cut? How did that work out? Denver called the bluff and they got everything worth taking from the Knicks save Fields.

    On the other hand, I do know of many normal people who have taken pay cuts in order to leave high stress jobs (plenty of lawyers do this), spend more time with family (plenty of mothers do this), or move closer to home. And while I know some people do that, I just can’t compare normal people to sports stars because normal people have 30-40 year careers. They can make back what they gave up to stay home until Jr. starts school. Sports stars do not have that window.

    According to Dave Berri, a basketball player’s peak performance is at 24 years of age but peak earning come around 27. Paul is right in that peak earning area. With him having about 3-5 prime years left, I just can’t see him taking a cut in his once in a lifetime earning period. He can’t make that money back 5 years from now as any of us could.

    Oh well. Short of trading for Paul or getting Howard, I say we just play “money ball” and find the best low cost/high efficiency young player we can get. We already have one the NBA’s best bargains in Landry Fields. Focus on find two more guys like that to even out the roster.

  20. flossy

    I have to laugh at the “Dwight Howard doesn’t like cold weather” thing.

    Um, nobody likes cold weather? But it’s a lot easier to bear when you have the slavish adulation of the biggest basketball market in the world, in addition to about a bazillion dollars, to keep you nice and warm.

    That being said, D12 to the Knicks just strikes me as very unlikely. Not only that, he and Amar’e would mostly get in each other’s way unless we had a really, really good PG to run the show.

  21. Caleb

    We’re not trading for Dwight Howard unless he agrees to an extension, so I guess we’d find out upfront if he’s willing to play in NY!

    Maybe I am starry-eyed but I’m not sure the Knicks would have to take on Turkoglu. Maybe, but Stoudemire or Carmelo is probably the best player the Magic could get in return. The Magic might rather a lesser player AND dump the contract, but that reduces the number of options – and who’s to say DHo would agree to an extension somewhere else? The Lakers and maybe a couple others could put together a tough bid, but the Knicks would have a great shot in that sweepstakes. IMHO dumping Anthony is the obvious choice, between those two. I know Stoudemire has health concerns, but I think he’d be more effective, and take less banging, if he got to play PF full-time.

    If we somehow pulled it off withOUT taking back Turkoglu, our chances of reeling in Chris Paul or Deron Williams would be better with Dwight, not worse. Who wouldn’t want to play with him?

  22. d-mar

    @22 it’s been said before, but you really can’t compare Melo’s situation last year to Paul’s this year because of the CBA uncertainty last year. Carmelo did not want to enter free agency due to that uncertainty, and therefore had to have the Nets as a fallback if the Knick deal didn’t happen, so the Knicks had to ante up. It wasn’t the Nuggets calling our bluff, it was the reality that Carmelo (strongly advised by his agent, I’m sure) was going to agree to an extension with some team before the summer, even if it wasn’t the Knicks.

    And Lebron did take less money BTW to play with the Heatles.

  23. Richmond County

    Suns are going to waive Vince Carter. Considering he’s already getting a guaranteed $4 mil from the Suns, is he an MLE candidate? I’ve seen Anthony Parker’s name floating around out there, but the NBA Live 2004 in me thinks “Vinsanity” offers a little bit.

  24. Caleb

    LeBron took less money to leave Cleveland, but not nearly as much a $acrifice as CP3 would have to take, to sign with the Knicks. Adn, subjective, but I’d say the odds of LeBron getting another big deal after 5 years, are a lot better than CP3 getting a 2nd big contract.

  25. Thomas B.

    @25 All interesting points.

    For me, the only real difference is that Carmelo wasnt sure how much of a loss he might take, while Chris Paul knows exactly how much of a loss he will take. Either way you have players that each seek to minimize the amount they lose. So yes, I thin you can compare them depending on how you wish to look at the situation.

    I think Paul would lose more signing a FA deal with NY than Lebron lost on the sign and trade to the Heat. Oh and LBJ saves money by moving to a state with no income tax. So you know, there is that thing to figure in to the “less money” thing.

  26. d-mar

    @29 I understand Lebron didn’t make that huge of a financial sacrifice, just trying to point out there is precedent for a player taking less than the max.

    It really is too bad that the CBA doesn’t allow players to restructure their contracts, as I’m sure (pretty sure?) Amare and Carmelo would do so if it guaranteed CP3 joining their team.

  27. stratomatic

    Caleb,

    The conventional wisdom is that Amare should be playing PF, but I spent some time last year looking at his stats and watching games closely when he played both positions. I’m not entirely convinced the conventional wisdom is correct from a net productivity point of view (wear and tear on body is another matter).

    He has a tough time on defense when he plays the big Cs, but he’s way more productive on offensive as a C. That’s probably because the bigger players aren’t quick enough for him and they are also reluctant to come out to contest his mid range jumpers. I saw game after game where he struggled against tougher PFs that could beat him up AND stay with him. On a net basis, he’s probably more effective as a C. That’s why D’Antoni likes playing him as a C. Of course that could be a problem for constructing the team, but it is what it is.

    That was a question with David Lee also. I even remember D’Antoni commenting that he wasn’t sure if Lee could be as effective if the Knicks added a legitimate C and moved Lee to PF. I saw some evidence of that with Lee in Golden State last year. He seemed way more effective when Biedrins was out and he was being covered by a C. Of course he got killed on the other end, but that’s partly why the Knicks let him go. He gave up as much as he gave.

  28. Z

    Thomas B.:
    I just can’t really imagine someone taking less money because I’ve rarely seen a top tier player take less money.

    This came up a few threads ago. Yes, it’s rare, but it does happen in sports. For whatever reasons there have been superstar baseball players that turn down more guaranteed money to NOT play for the Yankees (Cliff Lee being the most recent example when he turned down A LOT of extra cash). In the NBA, aside from the aforementioned LeWash shave in Miami (Wade btw makes the least $ of the three), Paul Pierce, by all accounts, gave Boston a significant hometown discount in his extension. Those are 4 recent examples of top tier players taking less money to play in the cities they want. Maybe not as much as Paul would have to sacrifice, but remember: this isn’t Chris Paul’s first big contract. He’s already made $50 mil playing ball.

  29. Frank

    The question re: leaving $ on the table is whether all these guys are in the mindset of “I must MAX out my career earnings no matter what the result” or whether a few might say “By the end of my career I’ll have made over $100M playing basketball regardless of where I sign”.

    Paul has already made $43M and is in line for another 16+ this year – so he’ll already have made $60M. According to various sources (assuming Paul starts 11-12 season at $13.5M with NYK and max with another team) Paul’s max $ with Knicks = 57.6M over 4 years and 74M over 4 with another team that can offer him the real max. So his career earnings at the end of that contract will either be ~118M (NYK) or 134M (other teams) without considering any increase in off-court income that might come as a result of being in NY (not to mention the ridiculous media exposure he’ll get here).

    In essence, he’ll make an obscene amount of money regardless – and would get a lot of positive press by “going with his heart” as opposed to “going with his wallet” like Melo obviously did.

    LBJ, Wade, Bosh, Pierce have already blazed the trail for him – he just needs to do it, probably through FA. I don’t see any way that New Orleans trades him to the Knicks.

  30. max fisher-cohen

    stratomatic: The conventional wisdom is that Amare should be playing PF, but I spent some time last year looking at his stats and watching games closely when he played both positions. I’m not entirely convinced the conventional wisdom is correct from a net productivity point of view (wear and tear on body is another matter).

    He has a tough time on defense when he plays the big Cs, but he’s way more productive on offensive as a C. That’s probably because the bigger players aren’t quick enough for him and they are also reluctant to come out to contest his mid range jumpers.

    This is absolutely true. The Knicks were rock stars, especially pre-trade, when Amaré played center. That doesn’t mean the Knicks can’t have a second big man who can guard centers instead of Amare. That “center” just needs to be able to shoot and do a decent job of guarding most centers. If it was a couple years ago, Rasheed Wallace would have been ideal.

    Guys like Ryan Anderson, Josh McRoberts, Brad Miller, Channing Frye can all do a decent job guarding big men while still spreading the floor.

    Alexis Ajinca might be worth the risk. He’s 7′, 24 years old, and a career 33% 3pt shooter. He also gets about 2 blocks and 8 rebounds per 36.

    It should be noted that we still haven’t seen what Amaré looks like without SSOL style offense. In our brief dalliance with ISO ball at the end of last season, he certainly didn’t look good.

  31. ess-dog

    Forbes estimated that Amare and Melo will have made 8 mil each in off-court income in 2011. They estimate CP3 at 6 mil. The bulk for all is national (nike) but there are many more local opportunities in nyc.
    Of course, everyone gets a bounce if they actually win something. But you have to figure that CP3 will make at least an extra 2 mil a year in nyc, but more likely around 4 mil a year if they start winning. So making up that extra 16 mil over 4 years is “likely” in my opinion. Remember we were barely .500 last year. Imagine if a nyc team wins 60 games?

  32. Spree8nyk8

    Wish I hadn’t even read twitter today, today it sounds like the Hornets and Magic are practically racing to the Lakers to cut a deal. I swear to god if one of them go there and the lakers DON’T get gouged I’m gonna lose my mind. After what we went through last year they had better at least get bynum and Pau plus make them take back bad contracts. If they just trade for one of them omfg i’ll be pissed.

  33. JK47

    I’m kind of excited to see what Josh Harrellson can do at the C position. He has the bulk and temperament to be a pretty nasty interior defender, and on the offensive end he is careful with the ball– he had a 1:1 turnover to assist ratio his senior season, excellent for a big man.

    Good rebounder, doesn’t turn the ball over, doesn’t force bad shots, plays strong position defense and is both smart and tough… Sounds like a great fit for us.

  34. ess-dog

    JK47:
    I’m kind of excited to see what Josh Harrellson can do at the C position.He has the bulk and temperament to be a pretty nasty interior defender, and on the offensive end he is careful with the ball– he had a 1:1 turnover to assist ratio his senior season, excellent for a big man.

    Good rebounder, doesn’t turn the ball over, doesn’t force bad shots, plays strong position defense and is both smart and tough… Sounds like a great fit for us.

    And can’t jump.

    But I agree, I think if he stays in very good shape, he could be a Pryzbilla type for us.

  35. Mike Kurylo Post author

    ess-dog: And can’t jump.

    But I agree, I think if he stays in very good shape, he could be a Pryzbilla type for us.

    Minus the 2.6 blk/36 of course.

    Although with that description, I’d go with Kurt Thomas, considering he’s supposedly has a jump shot.

  36. ess-dog

    Didn’t Kurt Thomas average like 25 points his last season in college? I think we’ll be lucky if Jorts becomes Jon Koncak 2.0.

    Mike Kurylo: Minus the 2.6 blk/36 of course.

    Although with that description, I’d go with Kurt Thomas, considering he’s supposedly has a jump shot.

  37. d-mar

    If the Celts, Rockets and Mavs are really willing to rent-a-Paul for one year as Broussard reported, then it’s game over for us, as we have nothing to offer (other than our top 2) But when you hear the Rockets thrown into the conversation, the reports lose credibility – are we to believe Houston will throw young talent and draft picks at NO to get CP3 and then convince him to stay? After what, an NBA title?

  38. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    It is good to hear that Paul is pushing for a trade now, but really, the next move is to hear what he will tell these other teams about re-signing with them. The Clippers are obviously the wild card, as they have enough young talent that they can afford to deal for Paul without promises that he will re-sign. However, do we know that the Clippers will seriously do that?

    Also, while the Clippers can obviously outbid the Knicks on strictly the offer they can make, I am a bit tired of all the “Wow, the Clippers have so much great young talent” talk. Talk about overblown hype. They lost 50 games last year!

  39. leiboadam

    Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin): Also, while the Clippers can obviously outbid the Knicks on strictly the offer they can make, I am a bit tired of all the “Wow, the Clippers have so much great young talent” talk. Talk about overblown hype. They lost 50 games last year!

    I mean, if I were these teams, I would want to trade with the Clippers. Bledsoe, D Jordan, Aminou and Minnesota’s UNPROTECTED pick this year is pretty good. (And that was without even mentioning Eric Gordon, who apparently they want to keep)

  40. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Oh yeah, the pick is definitely great. I mean Aminou and Bledsoe. They are better than what the Knicks have to offer, but it is not like they’re that good.

  41. flossy

    Those silly Clippers. If they had been a little more patient they could have just amnestied Baron Davis and drafted Kyrie Irving. Not that Irving is the next Chris Paul, but he’d a hell of a lot cheaper and more suitable to the rest of the team’s age group, and the Clips could then throw their other trade chips at someone else (Granger? Igoudala?). Oh well.

  42. JK47

    The Clippers have some good assets to trade, especially that first-round pick from Minnesota, but the Clippers are historically a sad-sack franchise and they get no love at all in Los Angeles– trust me, I’ve lived here since 1998 and you never, ever meet a Clipper fan out here. This is a Laker town through and through. Does Chris Paul really want to come to Los Angeles and try to turn the Clippers from a laughing stock into a contender? Does he really want to play for Donald Sterling, probably the worst owner to play for in the NBA? He’s really gonna sign a long-term contract to be a CLIPPER? Surely he must be at least a little bit familiar with NBA history.

    The Clippers? Really? Somehow I’m not buying it.

  43. Ben R

    JK47:
    I’m kind of excited to see what Josh Harrellson can do at the C position.He has the bulk and temperament to be a pretty nasty interior defender, and on the offensive end he is careful with the ball– he had a 1:1 turnover to assist ratio his senior season, excellent for a big man.

    Good rebounder, doesn’t turn the ball over, doesn’t force bad shots, plays strong position defense and is both smart and tough… Sounds like a great fit for us.

    I doubt that Harrelson will be able to contribute much. College role players rarely have the athleticism to become NBA role players. Harrelson barely played until his senior year and his averages of 11 pts 12 rebs 2 blks and 1 ast per 40 are pretty pedestrian for an NBA prospect expecially a senior coming out of college.

    Joel Przybilla was Mr Basketball of Minnesota, was the starting center for University of Minnesota as a freshman and was drafted #9 after his Sophmore year in which he averaged 19 pts 11 rebs 5 blks and 3 asts per 40. Kurt Thomas led the NCAA in scoring and rebounding and was drafted 10th after his senior year in which he averaged an amazing 36 pts 18 rebs 3 blks 1 ast per 40.

    I am rooting for the guy but NBA role players were almost always college stars and even fringe NBA players were usually stars in college the only real exceptions are players that came to basketball late and had to have their skills catch up to their exceptional size and athleticism and most of them are busts as well. Harrellson has neirther excetional size or athleticism. Kurt Thomas is aiming way too high for Josh Harrellson he started 630 games in his career Harrellson even at his ceiling is not an NBA starter. If we’re really lucky he will be a smaller, less athletic version of Joel Przybilla without the shot blocking and that is long shot.

  44. JK47

    Yeah, I hear you. My excitement for Josh Harrellson is more along the lines of “maybe he’ll be able to contribute something” than “maybe he’ll be as good as Kurt Thomas.”

    Last year we gave 19 minutes per game to Jared Jeffries for the last 25 games of the season and dude put up a .403 TS% and 6.3 rebounds per 36 while masquerading as a center. If we can get 15-20 minutes of smart, hard-nosed play from Jorts he’ll at least be an upgrade from Jeffrightened. Admittedly that is a very low bar to hurdle.

  45. Ben R

    Yeah, I realized after I wrote it, it was a little harsh. I hope we can get that too, he’s a likeable player and is the kind of piece we need. The thing is if we really want a 6’10” rebounder who plays hard nosed defense why not resign Sheldon Williams. Sheldon Williams is a bonafide NBA rebounder and defender. Williams also shot better than 60% TS% in NY, in limited minutes I admit, but he also shot very well in Boston year before.

  46. nicos

    JK47:

    Last year we gave 19 minutes per game to Jared Jeffries for the last 25 games of the season and dude put up a .403 TS% and 6.3 rebounds per 36 while masquerading as a center.If we can get 15-20 minutes of smart, hard-nosed play from Jorts he’ll at least be an upgrade from Jeffrightened.Admittedly that is a very low bar to hurdle.

    For all Jeffries offensive woes, his +/- was +9.6 last year (in an admittedly small sample size) and 4.8 (again in half a season) the year before. While I think he’s a tad overrated as a man defender, he’s a very, very good help defender on a team where pretty much everyone needs help. And with a few exceptions- like the end of the Celtics game- he’s smart enough to avoid the ball at the offensive end without wrecking the offense (if A. Randolph had been able to figure out how to do this he might still be a Knick). Do I want him as the starting center? Heck no, but I’ll be surprised if Harrellson turns out to be a better option at the 5 than either Jeffries or Turiaf.

  47. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I thought the Randolph thing, as well, nicos, but someone made a strong point that the Jeffries role only existed after the trade (as once the offense began to run through Melo, there was room for a player who did not spread the floor), so Randolph never got the chance to play that role. I do agree that he would be good at it. Alas, we only got to see him play out of position at the 3.

  48. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    I love Chris Paul and all, but I really don’t get how it would make any sense for the Lakers to deal Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom for Paul. What a poor fit. Especially with Mike Brown as the coach. Now if the Lakers picked up Howard, that would be a good fit.

  49. JK47

    Jeffries may be a good help defender and glue guy, but he’s not a good defender as a 5. Jorts may not be the most skilled player but apparently he knows how to park his butt near the basket and prevent opponents from getting into position. He understands that he’s not a great athlete and that he needs to play with a junk yard dog mentality and by all accounts is a high-motor player, so I think he’s a fairly decent bet to overachieve and find a niche. We have a lot of finesse players and we could use a few guys who will give hard fouls and play with some edge.

  50. JK47

    It doesn’t seem to me that the Lakers have enough assets to trade for both Paul AND Howard. Lamar Odom is still pretty good, but he’s 32 and nearing the end of his useful years, so I wouldn’t really want him in a trade if I’m Orlando or New Orleans. That leaves the Lakers with Gasol and Bynum to trade. The rest of their roster is pretty much Kobe Bryant and a bunch of filler.

  51. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    Gasol and Bynum for Howard would be a good trade for Los Angeles.

    Fisher
    Kobe
    Artest
    Odom
    Howard

    That could definitely win a title, along with allowing them to rebuild around Howard in the future.

  52. Z-man

    I am beoming more and more skeptical that we will land Paul, Howard, or Deron. I think the smart move for now is to sit tight and see what we really have in our young players, then to use any remaining cap space to fill in the blanks. I have to agree that the “smart” move would be to trade Amare for Howard or Paul, but that is probably not gonna happen and I am cool with that.

  53. New Guy

    So the max deal a player can get as a free agent now is 4 years, $74.5 million? Is that correct?

    Isn’t Melo’s current contract 4 years, $82.5 million?

    So did we really give up Gallo, Chandler, Randolph, Felton, Mozgov, four draft picks, and any real chance of building a contender….so Melo could be $8 mil richer?

    Someone please tell me I have my facts wrong.

  54. Scorpio Dragon

    It was unknown at the time what the new max would be. Sure in hindsight it looks bad, but before the lockout there was talk of severe cutbacks in salary. I don’t begrudge Melo for trying to get everything out of the old CBA he could before the new one went into place.

    New Guy: So the max deal a player can get as a free agent now is 4 years, $74.5 million? Is that correct?Isn’t Melo’s current contract 4 years, $82.5 million?So did we really give up Gallo, Chandler, Randolph, Felton, Mozgov, four draft picks, and any real chance of building a contender….so Melo could be $8 mil richer?Someone please tell me I have my facts wrong.

  55. Caleb

    I see almost zero chance that the Hornets (or Magic) deal with the Knicks. Guaranteed they’ll call Paul’s bluff, before they panic and take Landry Fields or Toney Douglas. If they lose and CP3 runs, they’ll have the money to replace him with someone better than Landry.

    If the Hornets swing a deal with a team that’s willing to sign CP3 with no guarantee of re-signing, it doesn’t hurt or help the Knicks. It might even make sense for Dallas or a few others… in total win-right-now mode.

    For the Knicks, it just comes down to a) would they trade Amare or Melo? and b) would CP3 (or Dwight) give up $15-20 million to play in New York?

    Personally I think b) is unlikely, but only a real insider could say for sure.

  56. ess-dog

    If we can, we really should just trade our two star players for Paul and Howard. Even if you rank Melo and Stat as the 12th and 13th best players in the league, you shouldn’t hesitate to trade them for the 2nd and 3rd best players, right?
    The only reason that wouldn’t happen is that Amare has that uninsured contract. No one will trade for that.
    But our guys are at least equal to the Lakers offer. Bynum is good and a rare true big, but his injury history is just too serious. And Pau is a great player but had an off year and probably only has 3-4 good years left.
    Imagine Paul, TD, Fields, Shawne and Howard.
    If these players are going to pick and choose where they want to go, I see no reason to be loyal to them. Who gives a crap about some wedding toast.

  57. Frank

    Ben R:
    The Lakers should just trade Bynum and Gasol for Howard and then Kobe for Paul.

    LOL can you imagine the howls from the fans in LA (and the entire NBA player population) if Kobe got dumped to New Orleans? That would be the most cold-hearted trade in the history of pro sports. It’d be like the Yankees trading Derek Jeter to the Royals, like the Colts trading Peyton Manning to Jacksonville.

    There’s no way in the world the Lakers get Howard and CP3. Just ain’t gonna happen. Gasol is already 31 and is not a cornerstone piece. Odom is 32 and is a Kardashian. Bynum is really their only great trade piece, and even he can’t stay healthy for more than 5 minutes at a time. Like Ben said it would take Bynum + Gasol in order to land either CP3 OR DH12, leaving the Lakers nothing else they can trade.

    Meanwhile, Hahn is not giving up on the CP3 quest. I trust him more than any other NY beat writer, with Beck a close 2nd:

    http://mobile.newsday.com/inf/infomo;JSESSIONID=864485D8C0A7D83BE954.3180?site=newsday&view=sports_blogs_item&feed:a=newsday_5min&feed:c=sports_blogs&feed:i=1.3368746

  58. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan)

    A sick part of me hopes the Lakers end up getting Howard. Even if it’s for two of Bynum, Gasol, and Odom, I don’t see Orlando going anywhere but backwards in the Eastern Conference. That’s one less team we have to worry about leapfrogging in the next few years (although you could make a reasonable case that Philadelphia or Indiana could, with a few moves, end up making their own push), and would make any potential playoff match with them much more palatable.

    LA getting D12 and CP3, on the other hand, would be terrifying. But like many here, I don’t see it happening. If anything, LA’s just trying to massage the demand for both upward because they know some of the realistic players are in the West.

  59. Spree8nyk8

    I don’t care who the lakers get, but they better god damn get gouged getting them. If the Knicks with financial leverage could get gouged getting Melo, the over the cap lakers better get screwed royally.

  60. citizen

    isn’t the only reason Paul wants to come here that he can form a “Big 3″? If one of the existing 2 go the other way why would he still want to come?

    Same logic applies to Howard…

  61. Scorpio Dragon

    It depends on how tight Paul and Melo are with Amar’e. If they’re really tight, then trading away Amar’e will be bad. If they’re not close, then trading for Howard will be a plus in CP3’s eyes.

  62. Owen

    Do Amare or Carmelo have no trade clauses? Could we really just ship them off? That strikes me as a bold, elegant solution to our current predicament.

    Anyone who can put Howard and Paul together has arguably the best offensive and certainly the defensive player in the league currently. You can argue the offensive merits of lots of player but Paul strikes me as the clear choice if you are cap constrained, given his track record of making junk players productive over the past five years.

    I don’t know if those guys like each other, but they are a match made in heaven. Not hard to understand why the Lakers are trying to make that happen. That has dynasty written all over it.

  63. JK47

    If we could trade Amar’e (plus whatever else) for Howard, I honestly wouldn’t care about getting Paul.

    I’d make that trade in a minute, then forget entirely about the whole “three stars” concept and instead build a balanced team around Howard and Melo.

  64. Owen

    “f we could trade Amar’e (plus whatever else) for Howard, I honestly wouldn’t care about getting Paul.

    I’d make that trade in a minute, then forget entirely about the whole “three stars” concept and instead build a balanced team around Howard and Melo.”

    Works for me…

  65. Spree8nyk8

    I’m totally in agreement there I think that if we can’t get a big three we at least need a little bit of a bigger 2. Melo/Howard and wise spending would be a great plan in my book. Also, I know the Lakers are in the west but I think that you do need to at least do something to stop them from building something you can’t beat. Does no good to revisit the 90’s and build a second best team again.

  66. Brian Cronin (@Brian_Cronin)

    The idea that the Lakers could get both. Man, I think it is pretty iffy to even report a headline like that. I mean, think about it. If you ask the Pacers, “Would you guys like to acquire both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul?” They’d naturally say “yes.” So would you do a headline stating “The Pacers Want to Acquire Both Howard and Paul”? Of course not, because it would never happen. Similarly, there is no chance of the Lakers acquiring both, as there is no way that they’d get Paul for just Gasol or Howard for just Bynum.

  67. Spree8nyk8

    Brian, I would totally agree with you for any other team other than the Lakers. For some reason every other team in the league just seems to love doing their bidding. They got Pau for nothng, Shaq as a free agent. I mean everytime this team seems to want something some basketball genie appears and makes it happen. And don’t get me wrong. It’s not even my concern that they are going to get both. I’m really not worried about that at all. What I’m worried about is them getting one of them for cheap. They need to be gouged. Orlando and NO need to both say if you want our guy we want Bynum AND Pau. I’d like to see them have to take a bad contract or two also. All I know is last year after we got Melo we kinda walked away feeling like we lost that deal. I don’t wanna see the effing lakers walk away feeling like winners again. They have already had more than their share of good fortune. I would really just like to see them NOT be bailed out again.

  68. Z

    Spree8nyk8:
    For some reason every other team in the league just seems to love doing their bidding.They got Pau for nothng, Shaq as a free agent.I mean everytime this team seems to want something some basketball genie appears and makes it happen.

    I get being envious of successful franchises, but in reality this isn’t at all true. The sumer before the Paul trade, Kobe was begging Kupchack to trade Bynum. There was a trade in place to bring in KG. There was a trade discussed to bring in Zach Randolph. In the end, Kupchack was smart because he got Gasol without giving up Bynum. It was a great move by the Lakers, not a gift. And, the trade was a good one for Memphis too. It got them Marc Gasol, and got them the salary relief that they used on Zach Randolph, who they’ve been very happy with.

    Shaq, too, wasn’t a gift. West cleared salary for years with his eye on Shaq. It was the exact same thing Walsh did for LeBron. Difference was, he did it first, and no one else was following suit. It was a calculated risk that paid off big. Great management.

    In the case of Howard and Paul, it is highly, highly unlikely that they end up together in LA (Lakers). Kobe’s contract make it impossible unless they take serious pay cuts to make it work. Kobe is due $30 million in 2014, and the taxes that Buss would have to pay at that point would be astronomical if he’s got Paul and Howard at market price. (Buss is way more budget conscious than Dolan and Cuban. He treats the team like a business, and has been very nervous over the years with the team’s spending).

  69. The Formerly-Congenial Cock Jowles, #1 Gentleman

    Kobe’s value is so bloated that you could very easily trade him (salary notwithstanding) for Paul, straight up. Turn Bynum and some pieces into Howard and you have yourself the best team in the NBA.

  70. leiboadam

    I find it strange that this blog and Ian O’Conner are the only publications that have even mentioned this scenario to my knowledge. I mean, it seems pretty obvious Chris Paul is headed elsewhere. Do this thing now and start spending your money (if it’s available to them).

Comments are closed.